Leaders in Cancer Biology, Genomics and Targeted Therapies Shaped Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
a widely respected breast cancer research team and a prolific breast cancer clinician
researcher join the ranks of an esteemed group of scientists as recipients of
this year’s Brinker
Awards – the highest scientific honor awarded by Susan G. Komen®, the
world’s leading breast cancer organization.
by Komen in 1992, the prestigious Brinker Awards for Scientific Distinction recognize
advances in both our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of breast cancer
(Basic Science) – and the clinical setting (Clinical Research), which are both essential
to combating the disease.
year’s Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science will be
presented to Jane Visvader, Ph.D., and Geoffrey Lindeman, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., Joint
Heads of the Cancer Biology and Stem Cells Division at the Walter and Eliza
Hall Institute (WEHI), in Melbourne, Australia.
Visvader and Lindeman have made significant contributions to our understanding
of how normal and cancerous cells develop in the breast. Their research has
resulted in critical insights about the regulation of normal breast cell growth
and breast cancer initiation and progression, including the identification of
breast stem cells that give rise to normal breast tissue and the breast cells
that are predisposed to becoming cancerous in women with BRCA1 gene
mutations. Spurred by their unremitting
drive for clinical impact, their work has contributed to the foundation for clinical
studies of new strategies to treat and prevent breast cancer.
are excited to honor Drs. Visvader and Lindeman with this distinction. The
quintessential basic science performed by this team has provided seminal
knowledge to the field regarding mammary gland stem cell biology. Their discoveries and experimental models are
being used for the design of strategies to treat and prevent breast cancer,”
said Komen’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Research at Vanderbilt
University Medical Center, Director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the
B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Molecular Oncology.
year’s Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Clinical Research will be
presented to Matthew J. Ellis, B.Sc., M.B., B.Chir., Ph.D., FRCP, Professor of
Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Biology, Director of the Lester and Sue
Smith Breast Center, and Associate Director for Translational Research at the
Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine.
Ellis is being honored for seminal contributions in understanding the genomics
of breast cancer and translating this knowledge to the clinic to improve the
efficacy of breast cancer treatment. His work to define the genomic landscape of
breast cancer, drug resistance mechanisms and biomarkers for breast cancer
prognosis, coupled with his pioneering research in the pre-surgical treatment
of breast cancer, has resulted in significant advances that are paving the way for more personalized treatments for
“Dr. Ellis is one of the great translational
researchers of our time in breast cancer.
His studies of the biology of breast cancer performed in the neoadjuvant
setting have changed our understanding of the hormonal therapy of breast
cancer,” said Komen’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Dr. George Sledge, Jr. M.D.,
Professor of Medicine, and Chief of the Division of Oncology in the Department
of Medicine at Stanford University.
2019 Brinker Award winners will deliver keynote lectures at the 42nd annual San
Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and will be honored at an awards ceremony.
breast cancer research has been a priority for Komen since opening its doors in
1982. To date, Komen has invested more
than $1 billion in breast cancer research and is the largest nonprofit
funder of breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government.
About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen® is the world’s leading nonprofit
breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer
forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this
disease across all fronts and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in
countries worldwide. We advocate for patients, drive research breakthroughs,
improve access to high-quality care, offer direct patient support and empower
people with trustworthy information. Founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who
promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed
Suzy’s life, Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast
cancer today, while tirelessly searching for tomorrow’s cures. Visit komen.org or
call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.